Fresh starts.

In a rare form tonight, I think I may actually make myself vulnerable.

My thoughts this week, given some incredibly intense things going on in my family, have been all over the place.  And as I watch the dust settle, and I see things turning towards a new normal, I wonder at what I am to do with all of the feelings that I have been experiencing.  Because frankly, I haven’t touched them a whole lot in this.

What I reflect on today though, is who I was in Windsor.  I remember a lot of enthusiasm over Brad and I moving there.  And I remember feeling lonely.  It took me years to figure it out, and sometimes life can be just as painful in hindsight as it is during.  Because that is when shame kicks in.

I was not a good friend in Windsor.  Brad knew so many people there.  And with Brad being six years older than me, his friends were older too.  And so were their wives.  I was barely out of high school, had never been away from home more than a couple nights at a time on my own, and was new to marriage.  New to a lot of responsibilities.  Not at all new to insecurity.  I think I made the decision to prove myself.  To speak out of my book knowledge in compensation of my lack of life knowledge.  To be blunt, and upfront (which I still am), but never really toning it down with grace… I still lack grace…

On my wedding day, my Dad informed 120 people that my kindergarten teacher commented on my “ability to organize the other children.”  Some things do not change it appears.  I struggled in Windsor, with not knowing when to be quiet and listen.  I had a strong opinion on everything, and was willing to share it.  Even if it meant telling a mom that she was making her kid fat by comfort feeding her when her child clearly wasn’t hungry, just tired.  Yup, spoken like a true I-don’t-have-kids-but-I-read-this-somewhere kinda girl.  My friend and I have since moved on from this moment, but her ability to confess to me my lack of tact was the best start to this.

I think if I treated my friends in Sarnia the way I treated my friends in Windsor I would be just as lonely here as I was there.  I don’t think girls would be excited to get to know me (maybe they still aren’t? : )  I know I still share my opinion quite readily.  I know my insecurities can still come across as snobby, know-it-all-nish and arrogant.  I know it still sounds like I speak from a lack of experience at times too.  But I have changed.

I do not wish those years in Windsor away.  Nor am I denying that the girls seemed to make a genuine effort there as well.  I think some of them could have been great friends, if I had let down my guard, been myself and been more gentle and quiet in my approach.  I wish I had tried harder to be a friend, and not an opinion.

So now I find myself at a crossroad.  Is the best indicator of future behavior the past?  Can I assume that “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” is always true?  And, how much am I required to be vulnerable, and willing to be hurt?  I think if my current relationships are to have any hope at longevity, then I have to be willing to accept that even if someone has a pattern, or a predilection towards a certain trait, that there is always, always room that this time they really have changed.  That this time, they have left their Windsor behind.  That this time is a fresh start, and they are ready to begin again.

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. bishop
    Nov 01, 2009 @ 23:25:34

    Thank you.

    Really.

    This has really touched me tonight.

    Reply

  2. Laurel
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 10:21:33

    Some of my thoughts are incomplete and a little fractures but whatever. Although I appriciate the heart and message of the whole blog, my thoughts cannot be disconnected from the last paragraph that has had me thinking for the last however many hours. The whole idea that you question of “fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me” has been on my heart also, and I am continually brought back to the same place over and over again,

    Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant,or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends 1Cr 13:4-8

    Or as the NIV says it – Love keeps no record of wrongs…love never fails.

    I would love to think that those who love me don’t keep a record of my wrongs, don’t assume that past behavior will be continued behavior, that they would believe all things, hope all thing and endure all things.

    This is how we are too love, and to live. We are to be open, beleiveing, hoping and vulnerable. And when we are hurt, betrayed or let down, it feels as fresh and new as if there were no earlier scars. It brings us to our knees in prayer before our God, it causes us to bleed our hearts out before Him. It makes us weak, foolish and broken. And there is no better way to come before the throne of God.

    Let us never become so cold, cynical, hurt or scarred that the constant, repeated or new pains that we cause ourselves or that others cause do not affect us. When we love the way we are supposed to we give our heart to God to hold in His hands, to put back together, to keep strong in our weakness, and there is no better place for our hearts to be.

    Reply

  3. Jenn
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 15:32:52

    I bet there’s been a lot of growing in the Windsor girls, too. 😉

    Jesus is the one we want to emulate. He always walked and spoke in love but he was never a door mat. The rich man never did give up all he had to become a follower. I think that there is a fine balance between showing love and turning the other cheek and having no boundaries. Jesus had both.

    Reply

  4. Nicole
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 18:36:59

    I think Jenn that we tell ourselves that side of things too often though.

    In Matthew 26:50 Jesus actually calls Judas friend, when he has come to betray Him. And I think that if love really kept no record of wrongs, and if we really thought more highly of others than we do of ourselves we would be more willing to be hurt and vulnerable. How many of us would have given Peter a second chance? The boy falls asleep praying, then denies Christ three times, and the Lord still leaves him essentially in charge of the church. We have to allow for brokenness of spirit…

    Every. Single. Day. (I’m going po-mo here 🙂 we screw it up with God. There is not a single day where my “petty” sins are not more offensive to God than all the hurts ever done to me are to me. And yet we still lick our wounds, still feel sorry for ourselves, and still wall our hearts up..

    Sorry, I’m venting. Not necessarily AT you, you just happened to bring it up 🙂

    Reply

  5. Jenn
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 20:35:51

    Oh, I totally agree with you and after re reading my own comment, I hope you know that I’m sharing having no idea what you’re actually referring to. 🙂
    I only brought up the point I did because too often, the Christian community naysays abusive relationships (I mean truly abusive) and uses the “turn the other cheek” argument. There are times where toxic relationships need the application of forgiveness but not necessarily reconciliation. On the same point, I wholeheartedly agree that we also like to nurse petty wounds, make it all about us and major on the minors. That’s where the fine balance comes in.

    Reply

  6. Nicole
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 07:37:01

    Thanks for clarifying Jenn! We are on the same page….

    Reply

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